The age of the curved display has finally arrived. After months of rumors Samsung has unveiled the Galaxy Round, the first smartphone with a curved screen. Available in Korea only, this ground-breaking handset’s 5.7-inch 1080p Super AMOLED panel is more than just a an interesting feat of engineering. Its slightly concave surface allows for a bevy of new capabilities, including the ability to check information by simply rolling the device or control the music player by tapping the handset even when its display is off.
Just as Samsung added new gesture recognition and eye controls to its software package for the launcher of the Galaxy S4, the company has developed a slew of new tilt and swipe controls that take advantage of the Round’s curved display. Roll Effect, shown in the video above, wakes the phone to show the time and message alerts when you tilt it toward you. Bounce UX allows users to control their music when the screen is off by tapping the left side to go back a track and the right side to go forward. Side Mirror shows additional information about videos or pictures when you tilt the handset to the left or right. According to Samsung, another feature called Gravity Effect will “create visual interaction with the screen by tilting the device,” but we have yet to see it demonstrated.
Because of its curved display, the Galaxy Round promises to fit more comfortably in your hand than the Galaxy Note 3, which also has a 5.7-inch display but is completely flat. At just .31 inches and 5.4 ounces, the Round is about the same thickness as the Note 3, but about half an ounce lighter. Samsung has also included a one-handed navigation feature that will move some controls closer to the left or right side of the screen.
In addition to its unique display and associated features, the Galaxy Round comes loaded with strong specs, including LTE connectivity, a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 3GB of RAM, a 13-MP rear camera and a 2-MP front-facer. Like other recent Samsung Galaxy phones, it comes loaded with the full suite of TouchWiz improvements including Multi Window mode, Group Play, WatchON remote control software, Samsung KNOX security and a plethora of camera modes. The phone will come in Luxury Brown color at launch.
Though the Round is due to launch in Korea only at this time, curved display technology is sure to find its way into other Samsung products. Competitor LG is also rumored to be working on its own curved display phone said to be called the G Flex and is even experimenting with flexible batteries.